Joel is a Birmingham native. He received his BA in comparative religion from Sewanee: The University of the South and his Master's in Social Work with adults and families from The University of Alabama. He was awarded the Master's Scholar award for his education at UA. Across his 10 year career he has run a youth program for adolescents, worked with geriatric memory care patients, and worked with a community mental health program in service of chronically homeless patients with schizophrenia and severe mental illness.
Joel's academic areas of study include mythology, world religions, depth psychology, trauma theories, philosophy, ancient history, and cultural anthropology; as well as the history and philosophy of psychotherapy practice. Joel uses his diversity of academic and professional experience in therapy through an eclectic integration of many techniques for growth, healing, and meaning. Joel believes that therapy must begin with a genuine appreciation for each patient’s unique story and individuality.
Joel is an EMDR and Brainspotting Phase 2 trained clinician who often utilizes parts-based therapies and existential approaches to help clients overcome problems in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. He specializes in helping clients harness their own creativity and strengths to overcome barriers for growth and healing. When treating trauma, Joel uses a "trauma map" to allow patients to understand how trauma is affecting their emotional reality, physical sensations, somatic feelings, posture, communication style, and unconscious reactions.
In his personal life, Joel is an avid reader and home chef. He spends most weekends hiking and enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter. He is passionate about travel and exploring new cultures as well as new ways of being. In addition to working as a therapist, he also works as a photographer and writer.
"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as the experience of being alive."